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'Special' Federer humbles ring rusty rival Nadal

Tennis: Rafael Nadal was happy to admit Roger Federer reached a level of tennis only he can achieve in a stunning 6-3 6-0 demolition of his old rival at the ATP World Tour Finals in London last night.

The 26th meeting between the pair was the hottest ticket in town, and the crowd were certainly not short-changed.

What they witnessed was a sublime display of tennis from defending champion Federer, who crunched 28 winners to Nadal's four to book his semi-final spot at the O2 Arena.

It was the Swiss star's biggest victory over his nemesis, and he felt the result may have been affected by Nadal's decision to take a month off prior to the tournament.

The Spaniard had no regrets, though, arguing he needs to think of the bigger picture with the Davis Cup final still to come.

He said: "Today I accept he (Federer) played a fantastic level. A very, very top level. Something very special only one player like Roger can arrive at."

Nadal had struggled with an upset stomach in his first match against Mardy Fish on Sunday, and he revealed the effort needed to win had brought on a shoulder injury which had stopped him from practising.

Nadal must now beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to reach the semi-finals.

Today's action was set to feature the second matches in Group A, beginning with Janko Tipsarevic against Tomas Berdych, before world number one Novak Djokovic took on David Ferrer.


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